TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Many Florida residents will be impacted now that new green card policies have taken effect.

With the turn of the decade, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allowed new policies that took effect on Jan. 1, 2020:

  • TAX DOCUMENTS: Failing to disclose immigrant status on tax returns or failing to report any part of income could lead to deportation.
  • SELECTIVE SERVICE: Men between the ages of 18 and 25 who hold a green card must register with the U.S. Selective Service, the agency of the government that maintains information in the event of an emergency draft. Failure to register could lead to deportation.
  • ABANDONMENT: An extended overseas vacation could be considered “abandonment” of the green card and lead to deportation.

Along with the updates surrounding green card holders, the fees related to citizenship or U.S. residency will see an increase. That includes an increase from $640 to $1,170 for U.S. citizenship applications, along with a $50 application fee for asylum seekers.

The rules could have a major impact on the large immigrant community in Florida, which, according to the U.S. Census, has the second-highest number of legal immigrants at 587.2 per 100,000 residents. The Sunshine State is only behind New York.

Green card holders by state

Here’s a look at Green cards issued in 2015 by state per 100,000. Hover over the bars to see the exact numbers.

Source: Census Bureau’s 2015 American Community Survey

A green card provides authorization to live and work throughout the U.S. as well as the right to re-entry if you need to leave the country. In recent years, the number of people obtaining a permanent residency status has declined, going from 1.3 million in 2017 to 1.1 million in 2018.